Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Cold Rainy Windy Night

Happy June, everybody. It's been really chilly and windy here all day, with rain since late afternoon. We always need moisture in Nevada, but I gotta say that I'm craving warmth and sunshine.

I got a slow start today. I've hit a rough patch in the book, as I knew I would, and while I'm doggedly plowing ahead, I'm in "this is garbage and no one will ever want to read it and who am I kidding saying I'm a writer" mode. Every project goes through this phase, and I know that, but this one feels especially bad. That's typical too -- "this is the worst thing I've ever written, and more than that it's the worst thing anyone's ever written, and I should just give back the advance and take up finger-painting" -- but it's never fun, and knowing that I always go through it isn't, at the moment, reassuring me that I'll indeed come out the other end. Y'know how it feels when you're in the middle of a bad cold or a bout of the flu, and can't even remember what it feels like to feel well? This is the writerly version of that.

So, anyway, I moped around in the Slough of Despond for too many hours, and then finally got on the elliptical for thirty-five minutes, which helped. Then I took New Tiny Computer to the computer shop around the corner. They're going to update the browser (it's running an old version of Google Chrome, and I can't figure out how to load a newer one because I'm so clueless about Linux), and also order and install a new battery. The battery life on this thing will never be brilliant, but it's been draining when the machine's off, which seems excessive, and I'd like to be able to go longer than half an hour without an outlet.

The computer geek in the shop beamed at me and said, "Oh, this is a great little machine!" Another computer geek at work, who actually owns one herself, said the same thing. So I think I made the right decision, and even after I pay the bill at the computer place, the entire project will come in for less than anything I could get new.

Then I went to the dollar store and bought some ziplock bags for knitting supplies. Then I got my hair cut, so I now look much less like a sheepdog than I did this morning. Then I came home, actually cleared off two small surfaces in my study -- miles to go, but it's a start -- and used the ziplock bags to sort circular needles by size. I reorganized the bottom shelf of the knitting cabinet, putting all my needles in another of Mom's baskets and untangling-and-winding tail ends of yarn, which went into their own small shopping bag for future use as gift ribbon. In the process, I found another button for the button box. The study still doesn't look as if I did several hours of tossing and rearranging in there, but after a few more days of this, maybe it will.

Then we ate dinner, and then, finally, I sat down with the dreaded manuscript and plowed through today's editing-and-revision quota, loathing every word. Back when writers still used typewriters, one of my writing teachers, Marta Randall, said that she hit a point in the middle of every book when she wanted to insert a fresh piece of paper in the machine and type, "Suddenly the sun went nova and they all died." I'm so there.

Then I knit for a little while to cheer myself up, and now we're going to watch some TV. Maybe tomorrow I'll stumble across a sentence in my manuscript that doesn't make me want to cringe with shame and crawl under a rock. Y'think?

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